The Star Valley Braves used a 14-point first-half cushion and a last-second field goal to beat the visiting Powell Panthers, 24-21 on Friday night. It was the first loss of the season for the Panthers who were stonewalled in the first half by the Braves defense but found some room to operate with a trio of second-half touchdowns. The last score came on fourth and 11 at the Star Valley 27-yard line as Jhett Schwann found Alex Jordan in double-coverage as he was able to come down with an amazing touchdown score. The game was tied 21-21 after the PAT with just 1:22 remaining in the contest.
The Star Valley offense appeared to be in no hurry with three timeouts and facing third down as Smith McClure converted a third down and five to move the chains. With under 30seconds remaining the Braves got a huge 37-yard run from McClure down to the Powell 29-yard line. While lining up for a 45-yard field goal attempt with 5.4 seconds left, the Panthers were flagged for offsides to draw Star Valley five yards closer. Kristoff Buhler then drilled the go-ahead field goal to make the score 24-21. The Braves were flagged for an unsportsmanlike celebration penalty as the team rushed the field with less than a second left on the clock. The Panthers recovered the ensuing squib kick and Star Valley (5-1) handed Powell (5-1) their first loss of the season.
• First Half Battle
The Braves defense stymied the Panthers in the first half, allowing just 57 total yards and 16 rushing yards on 14 carries. The Star Valley offense got an impressive outing from junior quarterback, Smith McClure, who finished with 179 yards passing and a third quarter touchdown to Bryson Nield as well as a total of 117 yards rushing. Jesse Leavitt, who rushed for over 230 yards last week against Evanston, finished with 73 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Tristen Hilton scored Star Valley’s third touchdown on a quarterback sneak. Jayden Crook led all receivers with 93 yards on four catches.
Powell nearly doubled their offensive output on their first rush of the third quarter, a 51-yard touchdown rumble by Cody Seifert. He finished the game with 87 yards on 15 carries. Jordan finished with 50 yards on three catches including the game-tying touchdown.
The road gets more difficult next week as the Braves make the trek to Cody to face off against the unbeaten and top-ranked Broncs. The last time the two teams met was in the 2022 3A State Championship game which the Braves won 14-7. The two schools have combined for the past nine Wyoming 3A team titles. The Panthers return home where they host Evanston.
Friday Night Scores by Wyopreps.com –
#2 Sheridan 44 #1 Cheyenne East 37
#3 Natrona County 35 Rock Springs 10
Cheyenne Central 51 Cheyenne South 0
Laramie 3 Kelly Walsh 20
#5 Thunder Basin 3 #4 Campbell County 42
#1 Cody 62 Green River 7
Jackson 14 Evanston 47
#4 Buffalo 13 #5 Douglas 3
Rawlins 7 Worland 10
Riverton 50 Lander 21
#1 Mountain View 17 #5 Cokeville 6
Pinedale 0 Thermopolis 20
#2 Tongue River 7 Torrington 21
#3 Big Horn 35 Wheatland 14
Lyman 38 Kemmerer 7
Newcastle 17 Upton-Sundance 28
Glenrock 14 Burns 14